The local sharemarket has opened sharply lower as it was engulfed by the negative mood from overseas markets overnight.
The benchmark top-50 index has fallen 160 points, or 1.3 percent in early trading.
Declining stocks outnumbered the rises by five-to-one, with most of the leading stocks falling at least 1 percent.
The market weakness followed sharp declines in all major markets in Europe and the United States as the number of Covid-19 cases surged prompting new lockdowns.
European stocks fell as much as 4 percent to their lowest levels in five months, and the main US indices fell by about 3.3 percent to their lowest levels since early September.
The French and German governments imposed new restrictions to cope with a resurgence of the virus, while the number of cases in parts of the US hit record levels.
The re-emergence of the virus has cast new threats to the fragile economic recoveries.
“Unless and until we get through this pandemic, it is hard for investors to imagine a better economic time,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
The US presidential election was also unnerving investors.